Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1800-1900
Language: French
Origin: surveiller 'to watch over', from sur- ( SURCHARGE) + veiller 'to watch' (from Latin vigil; VIGIL)

surveillance

noun
     
sur‧veil‧lance [uncountable]
1 when the police, army, etc watch a person or place carefully because they may be connected with criminal activities
surveillance of
24-hour surveillance of the building
under surveillance
They were under constant close surveillance day and night.
The suspects were kept under surveillance.
electronic surveillance equipment
2 when one country watches the military activities of another country to see what they are planning to do:
a surveillance mission
surveillance aircraft
3 when doctors, health departments etc watch an ill person or watch the development of a disease in a population
under surveillance
Diane was placed under psychiatric surveillance.

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